The Way You Talk Is Costing Your Tech Integration Business

How can you demonstrate value to custom integration customers if you don’t properly refer to your tech integration business in the same ways they would?

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The Way You Talk Is Costing Your Tech Integration Business

©2018 Google

People who work in the tech business tend to talk like people who work in the tech business. That has been true at least as long as I have been in the business of reporting on people who work in the tech integration business.

They use technology terms — often without explaining them — that are unfamiliar to custom integration customers. In my experience, this has been viewed as more of a funny, quirky reality rather than a real problem.

Well, there is evidence that it is indeed a real problem that is likely costing you customers.

What You SHOULD Call Your Tech Integration Services

According to Google Trends, AV terms like “digital signage,” “collaboration technology” and “soundmasking,” don’t resonate with most people as well as alternate terms (like “digital sign,” “video call” and “office sound”) that are more commonly searched for.

The Google Trends information is valuable for technology-oriented companies when they create content for their websites, of course, but it goes way beyond that.

If prospective custom integration customers aren’t searching for “digital signage,” they’re also not speaking the same language as you when you try to sell them “digital signage.”

“That’s our term,” says Jim Nista, senior director of Content Creation Services, Almo Professional A/V. In his role leading digital signage content development teaming with both AV integrators and their customers, he has noticed a detachment between the two viewpoints.

“Digital signage” is a term that AV integrators feel comfortable with, in part, because it describes the hardware that they sell. However, “Very rarely does a customer use that term,” he says. “That’s a tech integration term.”

Customers, Nista adds, are more likely to talk about a “menu board,” a “donor wall” or a “digital bulletin board.” Customers are focused on the effect or impact of technology, not the hardware.

“Technology is a means to an end for them,” Nista says.

Copyright 2018 Google

Valuable Tech Integration Business Resources

Most integrators get this but, again, I don’t think they understand the impact.

There’s the obvious potential impact on sales but, even worse, when a salesperson, company or industry isn’t on the same wavelength as their custom integration customers, they seem less relevant. That’s not good.

That’s why I think Commercial Integrator’s recent Google Trends-based research on the discrepancy between how AV integrators refer to their solutions and the terms that customers actually search for when essentially seeking the same thing is so important.

AV integrators provide invaluable services to their customers. They learn about their customers’ business challenges and custom-design technology solutions for those problems. They stake their reputations on how well those systems perform and deliver return on their customers’ investments.

YES, You NEED to Care About This!

Those attributes are a heck of a lot more valuable to customers than merely being savvy when it comes to using the correct language in web copy and in sales conversations. That’s obvious.

The problem is that by not appreciating how important it is to lean on free resources such as Google Trends and learn to better resonate with customers, you might never get a chance to demonstrate your value.

Look at it this way: it makes better tech integration business sense to demonstrate what you can do than to show off what you know.

We know you’re smart. But so are your custom integration customers. Use appropriate terminology. It’s a simple step than can improve your sales prospects and tighten your connection with customers.

Take this quick quiz to see if what you call your services is the same as what your custom integration customers call them:

About the Author

Tom Headhost Talking cropped

Tom has been covering electronics integration since 2003. Prior to being named editor-in-chief of CI, he was senior writer and managing editor of CE Pro. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication.

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  • lionel felix says:

    I spent years in IT and had to train my own staff to stay away from jargon, buzzwords, acronyms and niche terms. “Talk to them like you’re trying to help them solve their problem and use words that your parents would get if you were telling the story” is how I positioned it. It was often the case where talking to my IT people in other countries how deeply rooted our colloquialisms are in that we will use phrases that Danish, Germans, Indians, Aussies wouldn’t get. Speaking to clients in plain english so that they may understand the picture you’re painting is key because if they feel stupid becuse they dont know jargon they will say no, or maybe but rarely yess unless they’re brave enough to ask you to disambiguate your phraseology 😉

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